Generous Giving and Powerful Praying – #Sermon of the Week

TRANSFORMATION #4: THE REWARDS OF GIVING, PRAYING AND FASTING

(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

To listen to or download the audio MP3 of this message, click HERE.

Giving Praying and Fasting

 

OPENING HUMOUR:

Two friends are walking their dogs—a Dalmatian and a Chihuahua—when they smell something delicious coming from a nearby restaurant. The guy with the Dalmatian says, “Let’s get something to eat.” But the guy with the Chihuahua says, “We can’t go in there, we have dogs with us.” So the first guy says, “Just follow my lead.” He puts on a pair of sunglasses and walks into the restaurant. “Sorry,” says the owner, “no pets allowed.” “But this is my seeing-eye dog,” the guy with the Dalmatian says. “A Dalmatian?” “Yes, they’re using them now.”

The owner says, “Very well, then, come on in.” The guy with the Chihuahua repeats the process and gets the same response from the owner: “Sorry, pal, no pets allowed.” “But this is my seeing-eye dog,” says the second guy. “A Chihuahua?” asks the incredulous owner. The man in the dark glasses says, “A Chihuahua?! They gave me a Chihuahua?!”

 

THE BIG IDEA: Jesus has given us three keys to receiving heavenly rewards in our lives: Generous giving, powerful praying, and faithful fasting.

 

OPENING TEXT: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1, NASB).

  • Reward: things promised under oath; to give back, restore

 

1.  GENEROUS GIVING:

“Therefore, when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matt. 6:2-4, NASB).

  • When we give with the right heart attitude, God rewards us.
  • When we give just to be seen by others, their approval is our only reward.

 

WHAT IS GIVING? Two different kinds: (1) giving to the poor & (2) giving tithes & offerings

  • Rewards of Giving to the Poor: “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed.” (Proverbs 19:17).
  • When we give generously to the Lord and to the poor, He will bless is for it!
  • Practical ways we can give to the poor: Through World Vision Canada & Union Gospel Mission. Also to those who have less than us.
  • Rewards of Giving to the Lord in Tithes and Offerings: “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation {of you!}. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (Malachi 3:8-10).
  • Why do we give to the church? First of all, so the church has the financial means to meet the needs of people. Secondly, when we do, God will bless us.

 

2.  POWERFUL PRAYING:

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:5-8).

  • “When you pray” – note the assumption that all Christians will pray.
  • Go to your room, shut the door to distractions, and open the door to Jesus (Rev. 3:20).
  • What is prayer? Developing a personal relationship with Jesus. “The secret place.”

 

WHAT IS PRAYER – HOW DO WE PRAY?

Jesus said: In this manner, therefore, pray:

  • Person:            Our Father in heaven, (meditate long on the Father’s heart of love)
  • Praise:              Hallowed be Your name. (we give God praise for who He is)
  • Priorities:         Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
  • Provision:        Give us this day our daily bread. (we ask God to meet our needs)
  • Pardon:            And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (ask for forgiveness)
  • Protection:       And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
  • Praise:              For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

 

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:9-15).

  • One of the roadblocks to answered prayer: unforgiveness!

 

NOTE: In our Sunday morning message, we never got to the third section of the notes. However, I am including them here to keep the teaching for this entire section of the Sermon on the Mount together.

3.  FAITHFUL FASTING:

“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:16-18).

WHAT IS FASTING? Richard Foster defined fasting as “the voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity.”

  • You can fast food, but you can also fast TV, movies, computer or social media for extended periods of time.
  • “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” (Proverbs 27:7).
  • QUOTE: “If we don’t feel strong desires for God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great.” (John Piper, Hunger for God).
  • CHALLENGE: Seek the Lord in prayer and fasting if you want a breakthrough!

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About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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